"Howie" doin'? Brilliant, thanks
"Howie the Rookie," a poetic, Irish-slang drama about a couple of unemployed, foul-mouthed, alcoholic, misogynistic Dubliners, makes the trip over from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
By CARAID O'BRIEN
What's a flute, you ask?
If you like theater in foreign languages, don't miss the latest sensation out
of Ireland, Mark O'Rowe's "Howie the Rookie" performed in a dialect that
certainly isn't American.
In a tradition begun by the novels of Roddy Doyle, playwright Mark O'Rowe
creates heroes out of unemployed, foul-mouthed, alcoholic, misogynistic
Dubliners in one of the best productions to reach New York in the new
|HOWIE THE ROOKIE|
|Written by: Mark O'Rowe.|
Directed by: Mike Bradwell.
Cast: Aidan Kelly and Karl Shiels.
Related links: Official site
millennium. Now playing at P.S. 122 through January, "Howie the Rookie"
starring Irish natives Karl Shiels and Aidan Kelly comes out of London's Bush
Theatre, which debuted early works by Conor McPherson ("The Weir") and Tony
Kushner ("Angels in America"). Directed by Mike Bradwell, the show was a sellout
hit at the 1999 Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as in its original
London incarnation. Simply staged, "Howie" travels well Stateside and plans
a second engagement this February in San Francisco.
In two monologues not unlike McPherson's "Rum and Vodka" (which was a hit at
the 1998 Fringes in New York and Toronto) two feckless knackers
tell intertwining stories about life on Dublin's seedy North side. What
begins as a revenge attack for an inadvertent case of scabies culminates in a
fight to the death over prized fighting fish, with many a desperate woman
abused along the way.
Aidan Kelly as the Howie opens the evening playing the psychotic tough with
disarming sweetness. In a second vibrant performance, Shiels as the Rookie
a self proclaimed scheming Lothario engages audience members with piercing
eye contact and extreme confidence. Both actors roam the stage, letting
their stories fly. Occasional hand gestures are enough to indicate the meaning
of the often esoteric Dublin slang which the performers transmit well to an
Brilliant storytelling and poetic streetese make this journey through petty
grievances, gang fights and of course the usual drunken excesses hilarious
and engaging. The tragic consequences of these hopeless adventures, however,
leaves you breathless.
|JANUARY 9, 2001|
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